Patreon reward for Deven. Him and Zach try to do the Animagus ritual during their first year of Hogwarts. Things don’t quite work out.
Not Quite an Animagus
“Hey… Hey!” Deven whispered as he lowered his head from the top bunk to the bunk below him. “Pssst! Come on! Zach! Wake up!”
“Uggg.” Zach groaned as he woke up. He could just barely make out the blurry image of Deven’s face and vibrant brown hair hovering over the side of his bed. Zach reached around for his glasses, and slowly put them on, taking a moment to brush his own pale brown hair out of his face. “What is it?” He yawned, barely awake as he stared at Deven.
A giant clap of thunder echoed throughout the entire dorm room as lightning struck. It was enough to make Zeel jerk fully into awakeness.
“We finally have a storm.” Deven hissed. “We don’t have a lot of time, if we screw this up, we’ll have to start all over.”
“Oh…” Zach muttered. “OH!” His eyes widened as he looked out a nearby window. The rain was pouring down heavily over the entire castle as flashes of lightning appearance in the crowd. “Ugh… Why’d it have to be a night storm, if we’re caught breaking curfew…”
“Literally nothing we’ve done with this whole process won’t get us detention for the next seven years.” Deven replied back. The two were first years, and were currently trying to do some very advanced magic.
It had started when Deven had accidentally discovered the Room of Requirement. It had happened on another night that the eleven-year old first year student had been breaking curfew. The young Ravenclaw had just wanted to get a snack from the kitchen. He had snuck out of the dorm, and just planned to pilfer a few sweets to have as a midnight snack. He had gotten turned around on his way to the kitchen thanks to the stairs rearranging themselves and gotten a little lost. While trying to figure his way to both to the kitchen and back to the dorm he heard adult voices coming around the corner. One of them sounded like Filch. In a panic, he ran into the first door he found and hid. The door led to a modest room stocked with more than enough treats to satisfy Deven’s sweet tooth and Filch and whoever was with him had walked right past the door without even noticing. Deven snuck back to his dorm after that and had tried to bring Zach the next day. But, much to his confusion the room was gone.
Zach was a bit skeptical of a secret room filled with freshly prepared snacks. Hogwarts was a magical school, but that was a very oddly specific thing for Deven to find when he was looking to hide. Deven was determined to prove the room was real and kept dragging Zach back to the hall he thought he had found it in. One afternoon, when Zach was clearly getting tired of being brought here all the time and Deven was feeling especially desperate to prove the room existed, they arrived and the door was back. But this time, it didn’t contain any sweets.
Instead, it was a small library filled with books on Hogwarts castle. Most of the books showed maps of the castle and the location of different things. But in the center of the room there was a writing desk with a single book open on it. The book talked about a secret room known as the Room of Requirement, and how it materialized when someone was in need with the things that they needed.
After a quick victory dance of sorts that he was right, Deven and Zach looked through the tome, explaining all about the room. The first time Deven had come, he had been desperate to hide from sight as well as to find snacks. So, the room had given him a quiet place to hide out with plenty of things to snack on. That afternoon he had been desperate to prove the room existed, and so the room had produced a library that explained everything about the room and how it worked. Zach and Deven tried to turn it into a secret hangout after that, but they couldn’t get the room to materialize at will. It seems just wanting a place to hang out wasn’t enough and it would only show up if there was something they needed and couldn’t find. And so, for awhile they forgot about the room.
That was until one faithful day in Potions Class. It was a bookwork day, the professor had assigned them to read through parts of their text book on different potions and the history of how they had been used. Zach was an exceptionally fast reader and was soon done with the assignment and bored. With nothing else to do, he read further into the book about more advanced potions they weren’t going to cover. And there it was, he found the potion used in the ritual to become an Animagus. He quickly shared his discovery with Deven and from that point forward the two had one goal, make that potion and complete the ritual. Who wouldn’t want the option to turn into an animal?
Of course, there was no possible way any teacher was going to okay that. And if they started stealing potion ingredients from the classroom, someone was going to notice what was taken and catch on eventually. Not to mention if they were caught stealing they’d face something a lot worse than detention. And that was when they remembered the Room of Requirement. They needed a place that was fully stocked with different potion ingredients and a dark place to keep the potion until the right time. Rather it simply be because they now had a purpose, or that their desire was so great that the room acknowledged making the potion as an actual need, when they went back to the hall the door materialized. And sure enough, there was a potion lab with everything they needed to start the ritual.
Securing a location to work though had proven to be the easiest task. One of the harder parts was carrying a mandrake leaf in their mouth for a full month. Suffice to say, it made both talking and eating difficult. They couldn’t risk a professor noticing what was in their mouth when called on to answer questions in class, and they didn’t want to swallow their mandrake leaf when eating their meals. Compared to that, remembering to say the right phrase at night and adding a silver teaspoon of dew to their phials were trivial compared to that.
Somehow, they had accomplished it all without getting caught by any of the professors. And all that had been left was to wait for a thunderstorm. And it had finally happened. But of course, it was in the middle of the night, meaning that Deven and Zach were going to have to be sneaky. Between the professors, Filch, his cat, talking paintings and ghosts there were so many people that could rat them out.
Deven and Zach quietly got out of bed. They had been naked while asleep, and they both quickly dressed themselves in their school robes. If they did get caught running around at least streaking wouldn’t be added to the list of charges. Then as quiet as mice, they worked their way out of the dorm, careful not to wake anyone up.
Once on the tower stairs outside the dorm, they moved faster, though still cautious as trying to produce as little noise as possible. Almost everything seemed to going well, until they turned the corner to where the door should have been, and found a well known figure floating in it looking board.
A ghost with a short squat body, wearing what was once a colorful outfit when alive complete with a jester’s hat. It was the school Poltergeist, Peeves. He had looked bored, but the second Deven and Zach showed up his expression changed to a mischievous smile.
“What do we have here?” Peeves asked. “Two rule breakers out this late. Now, just imagine how much trouble Filch would be in if he were to see you here. I can only imagine he’ll be mad. Tell me how mad he’ll be.” The ghost grinned.
“Um…” Deven hesitated to answer. Peeves was a fan of mischief, but that didn’t necessarily make him an ally. He tended to enjoy causing chaos, and if not careful Deven and Zach would be the center of that chaos. But… He could also prove useful. If he could be convinced it would be more ‘fun’ to let them succeed than cause any problems. “There’s sort of a long list of rules we’re breaking at this point I’m not really sure where to start…”
“Deven!” Zach hissed. “Are you trying to get us in trouble?”
“It’s Peeves!” Deven protested and crossed his arms. “I highly doubt he’d go and fetch Filch and ruin our fun.”
“And what fun would that be?” Peeves asked, clearly curious.
“Well…” Deven tried to think of what to say. If he came out and just said they were working on the Animagus ritual, that might not keep Peeves’ interest enough to avoid him causing trouble. The best approach was to focus on the mischief they could cause. “Telling would kind of ruin the surprise… But if we pull it off, well, there will be no end to the amount of mischief we can create.”
“Huh, that’s right…” Zach pondered for a moment. “We’d basically be able to get anywhere in the castle without being seen. Sneaking around at night would become a trivial affair.”
A loud yowl came from around the corner. Mrs. Norris! Filch’s cat. She must have had their conversation and was coming to investigate. If she was here, Filch wouldn’t be far behind.
“Of course, we won’t get to do any of it if Filch catches us.” Deven spoke up. “And then you’ll never know what mischief we were getting into, or what we could do later.”
“Oh! So that’s the game you want to play.” Peeves floated on his back. “I see you trying to get me to do your dirty work. The question is why should I? And your answer is that it’ll be more fun that way. I do love surprises, but how do I know what you’re doing is actually exciting. I mean, you are Ravenclaws, if it turned out you were just sneaking off to the library for some extra studying it’d be a waste of my time to stick around.” He paused. “Then again, messing with Filch is always good fun.”
“What if…” Zach had caught onto Deven’s ploy. “After we were done, we helped you play a trick on Filch. It should be quite easy, and I think when you see us again you’ll think of many possibilities.”
“Hmmmm.” Peeves considered. “Alright, I’ll play your little game. But don’t forget, you owe me, and I’m not going to forget. I’ll go keep the cat occupied for a few minutes. I want to see how this plays out.” With that Peeves flew through a wall and disappeared. About twenty seconds later there was a loud crashing noise, and the sound of several glass objects breaking.
“MROOOOWWL!” Mrs. Norris’ voice screeched, but grew quieter as she took off in the direction of the noise. She was taking the bait, which meant Filch would too.
“Alright into the room!” Deven quickly opened the door. The Room of Requirement was much as they had left it last. A mini potion’s lab. There was a dark corner, where the room’s candlelight didn’t reach. And in that corner was a heavy looking trunk. The inside of it, a dark place where human feet had never set. The ability for the room to provide anything really was brilliant.
“It’s really time huh…” Zach followed Deven and watched as he opened the trunk and retrieved the two crystal phials inside.
“Bottom’s up.” Deven handed Zach his phial.
“Right.” Zach nodded. They both drank the potion, and then put their wands over their hearts. The began to chant incantation simultaneously.
“Amato Animo Animato Anima-“
“Boo!” Peeves suddenly appeared from one of the falls, causing both Zach and Deven to let out a small shout of surprise. “Filch is gonna be busy for a while. So, what are you two doing.” He eyed the crystal phials. “Oh now we have been up to no good haven’t we?”
“You kind of interrupted the big moment…” Deven growled.
“Do we repeat the incantation again?” Zach asked. “We didn’t actually finish it before…” He gave Peeves an accusing look. The ghost’s attempt to scare them might have just messed up well over a month of work.
Suddenly, both of them felt a fiery pain shoot through their chest. And then each of them had a second heartbeat.
“Ugh…” Deven collapsed to one knee. “Looks like… It’s not needed… It’s happening.”
Both of them began to change. They both shrunk in size drastically, nearly disappearing into their robes before they fell off leaving them naked. Then, they each grew tails. Zach’s naked, having a wormlike appearance to it while Deven’s was covered in green scales and ended in a plate. Zach’s ears moved up to the top of his head, turning into large round shapes with brown fur while Deven sprouted a pair of horns. Zach’s hands and feet developed short little claws, while Deven’s grew scales and his own claws. They had both fallen backwards onto their bottoms, but their legs slowly shifted shape beneath the knee, their feet becoming more pawlike so that their natural stance would be to stand on their toes. A pair of wings sprouted form Deven’s back while Zach shrunk even smaller. And then abruptly, the changes stopped. They had only changed partially into animals instead of all the way.
Deven, was some form of green dragon, but he was only about as tall as a housecat was long. Zack on the other hand, was some a tiny little mouse boy, only two inches in height.
“Wait, what?” Zach asked from the floor as he looked up at the gigantic room. “What just happened.”
“We should both be an Animagus now…” Deven spoke in confusion. Why had the changed stopped partially through?
“Pffffffffffffft.” Peeves began to laugh. “Ahahahaha! Ohhhhh, this was definitely worth the time to help out. I haven’t seen anything like this in Hogwarts since well… Ever.”
“This is your fault!” Deven snapped. “You interrupted the spell.”
“Oh? But you’re the one who said the words.” Peeves laughed. “Ohhhh, to be a fly on the wall when your professors see you like this.” He floated backwards through a wall. “Or maybe just in the wall.”
“Oh hey come back here! You’re just gonna leave us like this!?” Zach ran towards Peeves, having to climb over his own trousers in the process before tumbling down them. “Oof.” He looked at his clothes. “Um… So I don’t think I can wear my robes anymore.”
“Yeah… I’m a bit too small for mine too.” Deven shook his head as he looked at them. “Pretty much stuck running around naked.” Despite his words, he didn’t sound disappointed at all in that sentence.
“So… What do we do now?” Zach asked. “Like, this is kind of something that’s going to be impossible for professors not to notice. I’m pretty sure this is the type of thing that gets us a meeting with Headmaster McGonagall.”
“Maybe it’ll wear off?” Deven asked. Though, a large part of him didn’t want it to. He flapped his wings, hovering into the air. It would be a shame to give that up. Though he supposed now he knew what he’d turn into as an Animagus. He didn’t even know dragons were a possible form! Were they? Or was that part of the spell getting messed up. Who knew? But if they changed back to normal they could try the ritual again. But with how long it took to prepare… There was a real chance of not getting a storm in time after the potions were ready before the school year ended. Could they come up with some excuse to stay for the summer if that happened?
“I guess we should just try to sneak back to our dormitory then for now and see what tomorrow brings.” Zach ran over to the door, then looked up at the doorknob that towered way above him. “Uhhhh, I might have a problem.”
“Hang on.” Deven scooped Zach up and placed him on his shoulder. The doorknob was above Deven’s reach too, but not by nearly the same degree. Plus, he had wings. He flapped up into the air again and pulled the door open before stepping out into the halls.
And found both Filch and Mrs. Norris waiting on the other side of the door.
“Meep.” Zach, aware of his mouselike state shrunk into himself at the sight of Mrs. Norris. That cat was trouble before. Now, she was a nightmare.
“What?” Filch wasn’t sure what he was surprised by more. The sudden appearance of the two students, or the state of them tiny naked animal people. “I was chasing Peeves off, and now what do I find?”
“Peeves led him here?” Zach hissed. “Man, he really messed tonight up for us.”
“I don’t know what you two are trying to do, but you’re in a ton of trouble now.” Filch took a step towards them.
“Time to fly the coup.” Deven turned away and fluttered into the air again, trying to fly as fast as he could while Zach clung to his shoulder. Much to his confusion, the hallway stayed in place no matter how hard he flapped his wings. Then he realized that Filch had grabbed his tail. Considering his current height, it was doubtful Deven weighed more than five pounds. Ten pounds tops. Filch didn’t even have to try to wrangle him. Deven got exhausted flapping his wings and stopped, falling downwards, resulting in Filch dangling him upside down by his tail.
“Gah!” Zach nearly fell off of Deven, but managed to grab one of the dragon’s horns as he fell downward and clung to that.
“You’ll be expelled for this… Whatever this is.” Filch muttered. Both Zach and Deven shuddered. There was no getting out of this mess now. It looked like their time at Hogwarts was over.
Two weeks had passed since the Animagus incident. Neither Deven nor Zach had changed back to their forms. And they had been told they never would. Professor McGonagall had given them a very long lecture about how stupid a risk they had taken, and how there was no known cure for an Animagus transformation that went wrong. The lecture had lasted an hour, but it felt like days. But, the headmaster admitted to being impressed a little bit through how much of the ritual they had gotten right. As well as bypassing the need to gather most difficult ingredients by using the Room of Requirement. Technically, the only school rule they had broken was their curfew. There was nothing expressly forbidding students from making potions, in fact many often did outside class to practice. Nor was there technically any school rule against becoming an Animagus. It was just not something any first year would be allowed. They were required to be registered with the Ministry, but that was a different matter. At the end of the lecture, McGonagall had concluded even if there weren’t technically written rules, she was more than within her right to expel them. But, she didn’t have it in her to do that for two students who were trying to learn more advanced studies. So instead, she had settled on taking away 100 house points each from them, and giving them a two weeks of detention.
Other than that, she said the fact that they were stuck like that, and the transformation could never be reversed was more than enough punishment and had dismissed them to their dorms. The rest of the house was not happy about losing 200 points… But also was fascinated with the small animal creatures, and both Deven and Zach found themselves being picked up, held, and petted at random moments. They were more treated like the house pets than fellow members of Ravenclaw. They had also both stopped wearing clothes completely. Neither one was upset by this, but even had they wanted to, all of their clothing was far too large. Even Deven wouldn’t be able to just wearing a giant shirt without it slipping off. There were perhaps things they could have attempted, or at least made some form of loincloths. Instead, they chose to pretend the problem was unsolvable, and just stay naked in their animal hybrid forms.
“Uggggh.” Zach groaned. It was the last day of their detention. He flopped over flat on his back on a rafter.
“Tired already?” Deven flapped up to be eye level with Zach. “This wasn’t that hard.”
“Maybe for you.” Zach stuck his tongue out. “But putting enough elbow grease to polish something when you’re two inches tall and weigh like half an ounce is hard work.”
“Hey, it’s not easy for me, I had to do way more items than you did.” Deven huffed.
Due to their small sizes, Zach’s ability to easily climb things while part mouse and Deven’s flight, McGonagall had come up with a somewhat unique punishment for them. They had spent most of weak, cleaning, painting and polishing the rafters throughout different hallways in the school. They were both small enough to get up into the rafters to work on them. They had also both been expressly forbidden from using magic to clean. It all had to be done by hand.
Though, Zach was still working on trying to work his wand at his current size anyway. With it being so much bigger than him he could kind of lift it and point it with two hands, but doing the right movements was hard. He was going to have a lot of spells misfire over the next few months or however long it took him to adapt.
“Least we’re finally done after today.” Zach panted heavily. A rag larger than his body lay a little bit away from him. He had basically been down on his hands and knees on top of the rag rubbing as hard as he could. It took him about as long to clean one rafter as it took Deven to do the rest of the entire hallway itself.
“Yeah, finally have some free time after classes.” Deven picked up Zach off the rafter, holding him upside down by his tail to tease him as he landed on the ground.
“H-hey!” Zach squirmed in Deven’s grasp, but also giggled a bit. He was actually quite enjoying being small, even if it meant Deven could do things like this. “Let me go!” He stuck his tongue out at Deven.
“You sure? Cause even from my height it must be quit a fall for you.” Deven stuck his tongue right back at Zach.
“F-fine!” Zach tried not to laugh. “Put me on your head then. I can use your horns as handlebars.” Zach demanded.
“I dunno. Might be fun to just scarry you around like this for the rest of the day.” Deven hummed to himself. “Though I guess it’d make it hard to eat if I only had one hand.” He raised Zach up to the top of his head and dropped him between his horns.
“So… What are we going to do now that we’re finally done with detention?” Zach asked. They hadn’t actually had any real spare time in months. The last two weeks every spare minute they had was devoted to detention. Before that they had been busy working on the potion. There was no cure for their form, so there was no point making another potion. For the first time in a long time, both of them had free time again.
“That’s a good question.” Deven considered. “I know some people back in the dorm were building a maze for you to run through.”
“What!?” Zach shouted indignantly. “They think me a common lab rat! I refuse to run it until suitably bribed. I mean, I deserve at least a cookie.”
“Yes, you certainly are keeping your dignity there.” Deven snickered.
“What? The mazes are fun, and I keep getting free sweets for making a big fuss about it before running one.” Zach grinned. “Not like you being a glorified matchstick.”
“Hey you wish you could breathe fire like me!” Deven huffed. The fact he could breathe fire was a surprise to say the least given how much of him was still human. The Ravenclaw house was full of curious people who liked to try things. And so Deven’s flames had been used from everything form lightning candles to cooking food to making a campfire. All definitely in the name of science of course. Or magic. Or something. Deven went along with it, but only after he, like Zach, was suitably bribed.
“We do still owe Peeves to help him with mischief.” Zach pointed out. “Even if this is his fault. He did distract Filch long enough for us to use the potions.”
“We’re finally free of detention and you’re plotting to get us tossed back in?” Deven gave a mock sob.
“We’ll only get detention if we get caught.” Zach pointed out. “We’re both small, and hard to see. Me especially.” He grinned. “And there are some books in the library I want to check out… So if we help him create a mess there, I might be able to do a little bit of research unnoticed in the forbidden section while they try to get rid of him.”
“What kind of research?” Deven asked.
“There are some books on magic and manipulating matter through time and space.” Zach explained. “I was hoping I could find a way to shrink my wand. I can’t exactly point at it and use Reducio myself… And I’m not even sure if that spell would work on the wand or cause problems once the core was suddenly smaller. I figured I might be able to research a more powerful and reliable spell.”
“So, you’re just using Peeves so you can try to follow your own interests?” Deven asked.
“Well, yes.” Zach replied. “But I still prefer to referring to it as fulfilling our end of the bargain.”
“Well…” Deven considered. “I suppose, we’d be showing the same spirit to our little bargain as he is. And… I wouldn’t mind reading up on dragons and what kind of natural magic they possess. Wondering if I can do more than breathe fire.”
“So… All we gotta do is convince Peeves that he wants to cause trouble in the library.” Zach grinned.
“Alright… Let’s figure out a plan.” Deven smirked himself. Then his stomach growled. “After we get food. All that work has me starving.”
“Agreed.” Zach nodded.
With that, Deven took to the air and flew in the direction of the Mess Hall. They were already planning their next mischief. But that of course could wait until after food.